Guantanamo’s Closure Must Include an End to Indefinite Detention | Center for Victims of Torture

Guantanamo’s Closure Must Include an End to Indefinite Detention

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. & WASHINGTON — The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) today welcomed President Obama’s commitment to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. However, the organization reiterated that focus should remain on ending indefinite detention without charge or trial.

“We applaud the administration’s intention to safely close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, assuring that no new detainees will be housed in what has become a legal and moral black hole,” said Melina Milazzo, CVT’s senior policy counsel. “But attention must remain on ending the abusive and illegal practice of holding detainees indefinitely without charge or trial, or the shameful legacy of this facility will live on no matter where the detainees are housed.”

The United States continues to detain 91 men at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, most for well over a decade. Of the 91 men, only 10 have been charged with crimes in the military commissions system. Thus, the vast majority of those imprisoned at Guantanamo are being held without charge or trial and without being told when, if ever, they might be released. The severe, prolonged and harmful health and mental health problems that results from such detention can constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

“In either times of war or peace, there is no legitimate legal basis for the prolonged, indefinite detention of individuals without charge or trial. Indefinite detention without charge or trial also has moral consequences for the United States. Not only does such a scheme run antithetical to U.S. values, but it also runs contrary to U.S. foreign policy and national security interests,” added Milazzo.

“Despite steps taken by Congress to thwart the President’s attempts to shutter the facility, the administration has increased its efforts in 2016,” continued Milazzo. “It is notable that the administration transferred 16 cleared detainees abroad while increasing administrative reviews of others to determine eligibility for transfer. We urge Congress to work constructively with the President to dramatically reduce the population at Guantanamo, accelerating the pace of transferring detainees from the prison and ending indefinite detention without charge or trial.”

Jenni Bowring-McDonough


jbowring [at]

Media Contact

Pam McCurdy
Media Relations Strategist
pmccurdy [at]




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